The Great Barrier Reef diver/cameraman
‘cried in my mask’, to see the bleaching.
Mankind is beginning to take creaky
baby steps towards being able
to live forever. Just when there’s no more
forever to live in. There is a shock
that sidles from the phrase ‘humans were rare,’
as applied to time in the distant past
and the threaded bush. The future is not
distant, in which human features are shifting
from centuries of subtle smiles formulated
to a set snort of cussèdness, rictus
licked into by flames either edge. Like greedy
Emperors giving our descendants
the thumbs down. Or dry generals bending
only as far as to cede scorched Earth,
and scrutinize from the border. Children have
already only a walk-on part under
the massive toppling fulminating
dark Climate backdrop.
The human race was
too selfish to save itself, no-one will
much incise. Maybe naybe long.
Sebastian Schloessingk has appeared in Verse, Oxford Poetry, Formafluens, Dedalus and Quadrant and wrote the libretto for Magma, an opera by Lamberto Coccioli which premiered in 1998. He was editor for Qualm, a biannual contemporary poetry anthology, from 2003 to 2017. His two poetry collections, Cry of the No-No and Stil Cagey have been published by Gometra.
Born in Britain of German and Irish parents, Schloessingk lives in the Welsh Marches/Y Mers.